Jerry goes home
by Jon Worley
"What is this place? This looks like some cramped HR office in a low-rent corporation."
"You're in Heaven, Mr. Falwell. Well, Heaven's waiting room. We just need to complete your exit interview."
"From life, Mr. Falwell. It's time to move on."
"Oh. I thought it was heartburn."
"I get that a lot."
"We like to have our prospectives outline their strengths and weaknesses. That way we can decide where the best placement might be."
"Placement. Where's St. Peter?"
"Pete's the office manager. He's really more of a figurehead than anything else. The Lord decided he was better here than, say, being charge of poultry. Poor guy is just so skittish around roosters."
"Really? You'd think he might have gotten over that by now."
"You'd think. But I believe you just spoke to one of your weaknesses."
"Pride, Mr. Falwell. Your file here shows an astounding ability to speak out of turn. Many times you presumed to know the mind of the Lord."
"I know that was wrong. And I said so."
"One of your strengths. You had the ability to recognize your frailties. From time to time, anyway. Of course, you kept making the same mistakes again and again. The Lord hopes for better from members of her Creation."
"Mr. Falwell. Really. You should know better. When was the last time a man gave birth to anything?"
"Her? How did she get Mary pregnant?"
"Mary was a hussy. Even the Lord wasn't entirely sure who the father was. But, you know, thirteen-year-olds don't always do what you want them to do. In any case, the Lord wanted Joseph's compassion to be the miracle that people remembered. Sometimes people can be awfully obtuse. But, you know, the Lord adopted Jesus and all was cool."
"Jesus was adopted?"
"He was the Lord's son, alright. But she had to do a little paperwork."
"She. Wow. She."
"You're gonna have to get past this. She's black, too. But we both know you won't have a problem with that."
"Uh, no. Not really, I guess. But it's gonna take a while to get used to 'her.'"
"Don't worry. You'll never meet her. She mostly sticks to the house."
"Well, at least we got that right."
"Just kidding! The Lord greets every single citizen of heaven every morning. Kind of a personal wakeup call."
"How can he--I mean, she--do that?"
"She's the Lord. She can do what she wants. Which brings us to the more delicate--as you would see it--part of this conversation."
"And that is?"
"The longtime companion."
"The Lord's consort. She's been around so long that no one can remember her name. But she's been great for the Lord. Some of us remember the last one. Oh, the supernovas in that relationship..."
"The Lord is a dyke?"
"Human terms do not apply here, Mr. Falwell. Heaven is a union of souls, not a collection of bodies. Generally, we don't interact in the ways that humans do on earth. After this interview, you'll begin to understand what I mean. We do exit interviews this way so as to ease the transition."
"So I am getting in."
"To Heaven? Of course. Everyone gets in. No choice."
"Everyone gets into Heaven? What about Hell?"
"To quote Pat Benatar, Mr. Falwell, Hell is for children. It's a silly concept that fundamentally misconstrues the relationship the Lord has to the beings of Earth and the rest of the universe. The Lord isn't vindictive or petty or mean. Those are human characteristics. The Lord is love. Everyone gets into Heaven."
"So what's the point of being good on Earth if everyone goes to Heaven?"
"You, above all, should know the answer to that, Mr. Falwell. By and large, good people are happier than bad people. There are exceptions, but it is true that being good is its own reward."
"So I could have raped and pillaged and messed around on my wife and I'd still be getting into Heaven now?"
"Sure. But your life on Earth would have been miserable. Better by far to be virtuous."
"And going to church? That's important, right?"
"I don't think you really want me to answer that, Mr. Falwell. Though you should feel free to talk to Maddy O'Hair after we're done here."
"I can't believe this. I feel like my whole life was wasted."
"No life is wasted, no matter how misguided."
"That's good to hear, I guess. But have humans gotten anything right? It sounds like we don't understand the Lord at all."
"Of course humans don't. They can't. The Lord is unknowable and unreachable for the living. She likes to see you guess, though, and she doesn't hold those misunderstandings against you. Though she is disappointed that some use her name as justification for hatred."
"Those suicide bombers. It's a terrible thing."
"I was thinking more of your crusades against the weak. You and many others stood at your pulpits and denounced less-accepted members of society, rather than lifting them up into the bosom of the Lord."
"Some of my best friends were gay!"
"And that makes your actions that much more disappointing. But, you know, these things have a way of working themselves out. I see that you have an apartment assignment."
"Is that what this piece of paper is?"
"Yes. Let's see...your new roommate is a guy names Randy. Randy..."
"Yes. Do you know him?"
"Can I get a different assignment?"
"You want to start off your term in Heaven by questioning the wisdom of the Lord?"
"Ye--well, maybe not. But he'd better not try anything."
"Welcome to Heaven, Mr. Falwell. I hope you have a pleasant stay."
"Thanks. I think."
e-mail Jon Worley
return to the Shut up, I'm talking page
return to the LIES home page
return to the A&A home page